Alpine skiing-Gut back to winning ways and outspoken manner


By Patrick Lang

CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Lara Gut recovered her early season form to win a Super-G in Cortina d'Ampezzo on Sunday and also her outspoken manner to hit out at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Winner of the first two Super-G races of the season at Beaver Creek and Lake Louise, the 22-year-old Swiss had since been far less dominant and had yet to win a race in 2014.

"I was a bit angry. I skied so good in America. I knew how to ski but I wasn't doing it on the slopes," she said.

Gut, who also won the opening giant slalom in Soelden and a downhill at Beaver Creek, said she had also been motivated by the defence of her lead in the Super-G World Cup.

She comfortably leads the Super-G standings on 348 points against 310 for Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather, who finished second in the Italian resort, 0.12 seconds adrift.

Overall World Cup leader Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany was third, 0.61 off the pace.

"After five races I found myself with the red bib and I didn't want to lose it today. I'm happy to go to Lenzerheide with the red bib," said Gut about the World Cup finals and the last Super-G of the season in March.

Her victory came on the same day as an interview published by Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung in which she expressed concern about the choice of Sochi to host the Winter Olympics.

"When I hear about everything that's going on, I have mixed feelings. The Olympics should remain a sports event but they're becoming political.

"It's not the right way to go to give the Games only for the money. There are enough sites with good pistes, good safety and fans. It's odd to go to a place that has nothing to do with our sport," she was quoted as saying.

Having emerged by winning two silver medals at the 2009 world championships in Val d'Isere, Gut missed the Vancouver Olympics through injury.

In spite or her reservations, she made it clear she would give it her all in Sochi.

"I'm not going to Sochi to check out the course. It doesn't mean a thing for anybody to finish fourth," she said. (Reporting by Patrick Lang; Editing by Rex Gowar)

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